Madaa Center starts the Summer Games 2010, which provides activities for the children of Silwan
August 2, 2010

The Madaa Creative Center has opened the Summer Games activities for the children of Silwan.  The Center provides a range of recreational activities, the only offered all summer, to the children of Silwan Village, who would otherwise be forced to spend their summer roaming the streets.  Activities include workshops on games, art, music, dabke, singing, and interactive games that help build the self-esteem and concentration of the children. The Jerusalem Municipality does not help to fund or put on the Summer Games, which are put on for free by the Madaa Creative Center.  Children in the area are excited to have one activity in the summer which brings them off the streets in an area where there are no recreational clubs, no playgrounds, and no after school programs.  There is no help from the municipality for providing activities to the thousands of traumatized and impoverished children in the area. Participating Children Most of the children participating in these activities are residents of Silwan, in addition to children coming from nearby areas, such as al-Thuri neighborhood.  The activities serve children between the ages of 5 and 12 years.  The Center provides an opportunity for groups of older girls and boys, who have participated in special training at Madaa, to play a leading role in managing certain activities under the supervision of teachers and leaders at the Center. Children participating in the activities expressed joy to finally start the summer games, which are offered for free to the children in the village, many of whom suffer from the difficult living conditions as a result of the deteriorating situation in the village.  Many have suffered from the economic state in Silwan, and have experienced injustices due to the Israeli practice of not differentiating between children and adults in Silwan Village.  After the recent violence of the past month, the children will experience the relief of a day-camp experience, the only of its kind hosted in the area, which has no recreation clubs or playgrounds where the children can play.  Madaa Creative Center and Staff The Madaa Creative Center was established in 2007 by residents of the village, using their own resources, in order to provide joy and activity to the children of Silwan, and compensation for the loss of many aspects of their childhoods under the dire political and economic conditions of the area.  The Summer Games, however, have been organized here since 2005, before the establishment of Madaa, and have since become part of the workings of the Center.  Activities are supervised by different groups of villagers, as well as many ambitious young men and women who participate in a special Trainee program at Madaa, so that they may be able to handle children with social problems.   Hopes and Aspirations Workers at the Center aspire to expand the creative activity in the future, building new and better courses and events aimed at helping children and young people in the Village.  Work is aimed, especially, at children from the poorest areas, and where they are most affected by the dangerous security situation.  The Madaa Staff look forward to a better future, when children can experience a childhood spent learning and playing far from scenes of armed clashes, house arrests, demolitions, and other violence. Madaa Creative Center: